Hoping to control costs, AmeriMark's president Louis Giesler, says there will be a full-court press on promoting health and wellness. Employees will have their blood pressure, weight and cholesterol checked annually, and they’ll be doing “biometric screenings” for their workers to “make them aware of some health-related challenges that they may not know about. And if those challenges exist we'll try to put tools in their hands or on their computer screens or in their mailboxes to help them better understand their situations and manage it.”
For example, some employees may have not seen a doctor recently for a wellness check. So, some workers may not realize their blood pressure is high. If a biometric screening reveals that, then Giesler the employee will take action, visiting a doctor and getting educated about the condition.
Amerimark’s workers will also be offered programs to help them quit smoking and incentives to lose weight. And, finally, AmeriMark will be asking its employees to share in paying some of these new costs.
Giesler says the company debated dropping health insurance for its employees, which would likely result in an expensive penalty, starting in 2015.
In the end, the company decided to keep providing insurance. But that may change in the future, if costs continue to climb.
This story is part of a reporting partnership with NPR, WCPN/Ideastream and Kaiser Health News.
Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
Tue, May 13 2014